Hypothesis validation in value delivery journey

One of the wisdom I keep reminding myself is “what is the root problem/ true need I & my team want to address for the customers” before making any decision. Hypothesis validation is an essential activity that helps us to discover the real end-user need. It can be a desire that needs to be satisfied or a pain point that needs to be solved. Then, it should be the area where the team should focus on instead of wasting time to address unreal problems.

In the “Develop a Hypothesis Before a Solution” – Projectmanagement.com blog post, Bart Gerardi has shared his own story regard shipping a feature without a tested hypothesis would add zero value to the customers. In the specific example, the customer journey can even become worse when an unreal problem was being “fixed”.

Illustration by Emily Soo

Why we need hypothesis validation:

    1. It helps all members to focus on the end goal that the team is approaching with its customers. It can be a set of features to satisfy specific customers’ needs or make life easier with a frictionless experience.
    2. It saves costs by not wasting resources/ energy on the wrong problems and lower priority ones. Spending a little effort upfront to discover real and unreal problems to be solved can save tons of effort to build a wrong solution later.
    3. It increases members’ engagement and collaboration to figure out the right things to do together. Self-organization is also cultivated as each individual is aware of their responsibility to value contribution.

How to start using hypothesis validation:

We can simply start with asking more “why” questions before investing team effort to develop a new feature. Another way, we can start thinking from the expected result and open the dialogue to discuss whether it’s worth pursuing and what is the quickest way to validate that assumption. Then, based on the new info from the 1st test, the team can iterate the assumptions and learn what is truly valuable to their customers. That keeps the team moving forward on the right track. 

More guidance can be found at:

hypothesis-driven-validation, Hilary Hayes 

practice_run_user_experiments, Rick Goldberg

hypothesis-driven-development, Dmytro Domashenko

Are you spending/ or going to spend team effort to test hypothesises besides development?